Friday, October 31, 2008

The Horse Bug

If you're reading this chances are you were bitten by it too. The horse bug. Something non-horsey families usually hope is 'just a phase'.
I was bitten by it young. My family always seemed to think I'd grow out of it. You know, when school or boys or cars or life came along.
As most of you know it didn't go away. Yes I enjoy the rest of the stuff that came along (although I still don't have my 'dream car' lol) but horses are a part of my life and I'm thankful that they are.

This past Sunday Pie & I took our niece & nephew out to see the horses for the first time.
No I haven't been a slacker auntie. (or thea as they are Pie's brother's kids therefore we are Thea Lisa and Theo "Pie")
Pie and his family grew up with NO animal contact. No pets, not even fish. His parents are kinda old-school Greeks, "animals are dirty" blah blah blah. His sister-in-law doesn't mind cats (although little Georgie is allergic) and small (emphasis on SMALL) dogs. (so yeah not my dogs lol)
G & C (Pie's brother & his wife) are not too keen on the whole "horse thing". I can understand, horses are large and powerful. They can be unpredictable. Even with the most "bombproof" horse there is an inherent danger.
But their daughter, Maria, is starting to get the itch. And G & C finally let us take the kids out to visit with the horses.
Little Georgie wasn't too thrilled. He was kinda scared and just watched. Maria on the other hand was jumping up and down and screaming (happy screams) when we picked her up and told her where we were going.
I made sure to mention jumping up and down and screaming are not allowed around the horses :)
I wasn't sure what Maria would do once face to face with the horses. Georgie hanging back and watching didn't surprise me. Maria on the other hand got to see what horse shoes look like (we have a ton of used ones in the barn) Then she got to see what they look like ON the horse (Applejack very nicely picked up a front foot when we said "foot please" so she could see them and how they were attached.
Then Maria learned how to feed cookies (Georgie's ears perked up at that, he thought it was kinda neat that horses have cookies)
Although it was very blustery and cold Maria was in heaven.
She was feeding horses cookies and getting to touch them!!

Here she is with theo petting Applejack while he eats his (very teeny amount of) grain.
Almost forgetting the "no jumping" rule lol

Theo asked her if she wanted to sit on the horse and next thing I knew he had tossed her up. I went over to check on her and Pie snapped this.

Of course she had to sit on Cessa too!

Helping Pie (theo) help Cessa get the last of her beet pulp/oats.
Maria is already looking forward to coming again, when its warmer (or she's dressed better). She didn't complain once about the cold... she was worried I'd go make her sit in the truck!
("Its okay thea, the cold didn't bother me until the horses left" ummm, yeah I think she's got the bug!!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag I'm "it"

Laura over at littlekeebler tagged me to play "Book Tag". I've always loved books so I thought this was a great game.

The rules of BT are as follows:

1)Grab the nearest book.
2)Open the book to page 56.
3)Find the fifth sentence.
4)Post the text of the next two to five sentences.
5)Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one,Pick the Closest.
6)Tag five people to do the same.

I'm actually reading about 3 books right now, so depending on where I had been when I got this the book could have been "Martha Josey's Running to Win" or "Rhett Butler's People" (or even my Greek homework... now that would have been interesting! lol)
But the book I was closest to (as per the rules) sits on my desk beside my computer. I flip through it while waiting for things to load or just to soak in some beauty. The book is...

Spirit of the Horse by Bob Langrish and Nicola Jane Swinney.
Filled with the breathtakingly beautiful equine pics that BL is famous for it also has some breed/horse information that is not so common place.
Following the rules, I flipped to page 56, and it was a stunning picture of a grey (the white kind of grey) Arabian mare and her darker grey foal. So I looked at the facing page (57) and found the 5th sentence, which read:
"Like the beautiful Arabians shown here, the Seglawi was most commonly grey, with more white markings than other strains."
To continue on (remember, the rules!) it reads:
"In contrast, the Hamdani horse could be considered plain - if that description could ever apply to the Arabian - with an athletic build and bigger bones. He lacked the pronounced jibbah and has a straigher profile and neck. He was a bigger model, standing at about 15.2HH.
The Hadban was a smaller version, standing under 15HH. Although he had a markedly muscular build and bigger bone, he was known for his gentle and tractable nature."

Now to continue this game I tag:

Leah at Barn Door Tagz

20 Metre Circle of Life

Stacey Kimmel-Smith at Behind the Bit

soshorses at Bringing Home Sammy

and ezra pandora at The Wacky and Wondrous World of Ezra

Leah I've known for a little while now, but c'mon she has "tagz" in her blog name, I HAD to choose her! lol
The other bloggers are all fairly new to me, which is why I chose them.

*photo of book cover found with Google Images*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

After a chilly weekend I'm glad to see the temps for the next few days will be nicer, there's still a little fall left.
Kimfer and I rode Friday. We met at the barn and rode down Old Dump Road (we call it that, not sure what the real name is). Its a gravel road, but fairly well travelled as it leads to a water station. Kimfer rode Isis and ponied Baron, he's been cleared for light riding so she's easing him back into work. I rode Applejack, I'm thinking of ponying Cessa off him in the future.
Just off ODR is some private land that is fairly well treed (little bushy trees, not big trees) and lots of trails. We call it Mini-Nesbit because it kinda reminds us of riding in Nesbit Forest (about an hour and a half drive north). Except MN doesn't have bear or moose, which is totally okay with us! lol
We did see a deer though. We had just come off the road and were in maybe 50 feet when I saw a good size doe having lunch in a little clearing. I stopped and started talking to Kimfer really loudly so the doe would take advantage of the moment and leave. Kimfer's filly was being a bit goofy and we didn't want to give her any excuses to act up.
Most of the leaves have turned and fallen, it was kinda ghostly riding through there. Made me wish I'd had my camera.
Sunday Pie & I brought our niece and nephew out to meet the horses, I do have pics of that day I will post in the future.
Yesterday was laundry/housework... and a nice soak in the hot tub with Pie when he got home from work.
**edited to add - hot tub being the 6-8 person, jetted kind that sits out on the deck. Perfect for drinks, relaxing and entertaining** :)
Today I have my Greek class (need to review my homework as soon as I post this!) and tomorrow is supposed to be very nice weather so I plan to ride. I need to get my fat little horse working again. The next three weekends are barrel racing, clinic and barrel racing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Dungeon

Errr... the Diamond.
Seeing as today is my "Friday" I thought I'd give you a tour of where I am forced to go to support my horses, dogs and cats. ;)
I work at my hubbie's family's restaurant. I never intended to work there, but just before we got married I found myself working for the fam.
(I had been in hotel's and switched properties whereupon I found myself screwed over and needing out!)

So this is where you'll find me, Wednesday - Saturday evenings. (as well as holiday's like Mother's Day and New Year's or Valentine's if they fall on my day off)
This is the hostess station. From this view there is a teeny glimpse of the restaurant bar to the left. To the right is the dining room with tables and chairs. On the bar side of the restaurant are the booths.
The flowers on the counter are from my Father-in-law. He almost always has fresh flowers on that counter, I think its a nice touch.

Later in the evening if there's some down time this is where I get to chill. Its also where I get to have my supper. (I do believe that's a horse mag on the table lol)
Its also where I check the bills (my FIL is an old timer, non tech guy; our waitresses still use the old hand written bills)These two little tables are in front of the bar, just to the right as I stand behind the till in the hostess station.

Here I am in my box (the hostess station or HS) Straight in front is where the booths start. Notice all the mirrors? Very easy to keep an eye on what's going on... keep an eye on potential troublemakers, staff, and to find an open and clean table when its busy! There are 28 booths that seat from 2 to 6 people.
(7 booths are 2 seaters, 1 is a 3 seater, 6 seat 4 max and the rest can seat up to 6)

Looking right from the HS (yup there's my table & magazine again!) I'm really hoping we renovate soon, that wallpaper seriously needs to be replaced. On the extreme right, not quite in the picture, are doors to the kitchen. You can also barey make out the overhang for the bar, where the glasses hang, on the right.

This is to the left of the HS. The dining room (DIR) for large groups or people who prefer chairs. The staircase and part of the wine cabinet. There is a Greek mural down the staircase.
The dining room has a divider that can be slid open to make a larger space or closed for 2 smaller spaces. If I remember correctly it can seat up to 110.

The rest of the wine cabinet and chairs for people waiting for a table, a pick up order or delivery drivers waiting for an order. Around that corner of the wine cabinet is the elevator in case you couldn't (or didn't want to) use the stairs.
Help yourself to a mint from the bowl :)

Here's Pie and John (our bartender) in the lounge. They're taking a moment to say 'bye'. I've got the restaurant all closed up and they get to stay and listen to karaoke and work in the lounge.
(lucky them lol)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mrs Mom started it :)

"It" being "Ghosting it Forward". Kinda a pay it forward with a Halloween twist. Mrs Mom tagged BECG who in turn tagged me.

I love Halloween. I love handing out candy and seeing all the kids in their cute costumes. Sadly this year it lands on a Friday so I'll be at work :( (our nice neighbours will keep an eye on our house in case there are any Halloween Hoodlums out)

So here's how to play Ghosting it Forward:

1)Have a ghostly image to pass along.

2)Tag 3 people on your blog, with links to their blogs. Tell what great people they are or offer to send them a ghostly treat.

3)Include a link to Ghosting it Forward in your blog.

So for my 3 people... hmmm. I always hate having to choose this part, there are so many of you out there. This time I just randomly scrolled up and down my blog list and wherever my cursor stopped, that's who got picked.
(I am sooo giving myself a "no pressure" of any kind day! lol)

First up is Sidetracked. I've just started to get to know ST but I really like her. We have nothing in common in riding (I'm Western, she's English and jumps) But we both ride Appy geldings that we had to do a bit of work to establish relationships with. And we both have a soft spot for rescue dogs.

Second is my fellow Lisa aka Twinville. This wonderful lady leads a life very far from mine. But I still feel a kinship with her. Her posts are filled with pics (she's actually had to buy additional photo space from Blogger! :o ) and often make me laugh.

Last, but by no means least, is another new to me blogger, Lytha. An American now living in Germany and adjusting to life there. At least her horse has finally arrived! That's right, the lucky girl was able to bring her horse with her.

Now in regard to the image I posted. This is a "famous" ghost photo, known as The Brown Lady. It is thought to be of Lady Dorothy Townshend who lived in England in the 1700s. Supposedly she had an affair and her husband faked her death and her funeral while he kept her locked in their home until she died many years later.
She is said to haunt their home Raynham Hall. This photo was reported to have been taken in 1936. There is more info on the photo and Lady Townshend if you click the link on The Brown Lady.

*image found online*

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Confessions of a drama queen

Soooo, I've been a bit "absent" this week. There's a reason for that, its been a rough week.
(Seems like its been rough for about half the bloggers out there)
When I started this blog I promised myself to keep it as honest as possible. That's part of the reason I haven't been around much lately. I had nothing on my mind but last Saturday and I didn't know how much of it I felt comfortable sharing.
So this is the deal, I'll give a brief rundown but not too many specifics (sorry, if you're like me I know being curious and not getting answers drives a person crazy).

Last Friday Pie and I had a bit of a fight. (verbal not physical) In the end its not really something that was his fault/my fault, just a lack of a judgement call.
Normally not too big a deal, every couple has their moments.

But then Saturday I had to call 911.

I had got up before Pie and ran some errands. When I came home he was still asleep.
I went into the bathroom and suddenly heard thuds from the bedroom. I raced in and Pie was stumbling around, trying to get to the door. He wasn't very coherent and couldn't really stand.
Very strange.
I made him sit on the bed and called my brother-in-law (he lives around the corner).
I was worried but wasn't sure if it was as bad as I thought it was.
In the less than 2 minutes it took for BIL to get here the situation worsened drastically.
Pie was laying on the bed, he'd gotten super pale and was breathing very shallowly.
Neither BIL or I could get any response (yes, dramatic as it may be we even slapped his face).
I called 911.
Yes I was crying, and scared, but I managed to be coherent and in a few minutes the ambulance was at our house.

Pie ended up going to the ER. I followed in my vehicle.
That was around 3pm. At 9pm they let me take him home. He was still very groggy and out of it. But if you spoke to him he would answer (and make sense) but if you left him on his own for a moment he would drift off.

Needless to say I hardly slept on Saturday. I was up checking on him and haven't had a decent nights sleep since. Running on 3 - 5 hours of sleep (total sleep, still keep waking up).

It turned my world upside down. I keep thinking 'what would have happened if I hadn't come home when I did?'

I haven't wanted to leave the house all week (been a bit tired to do much anyway). I only rode once, but the horses worked their magic while I was with them. However once they were turned out I just REALLY wanted to get home again (damn I wish they were in my backyard!).

So there you have it, things are getting better though. Pie is feelin' fine and I have the next few days off to get my head straight and relax (hot tub here I come!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jingles please!

I just found out that one of my very best blogger buddies, Steph, had a horrible car accident.

She'll be okay but it will take awhile. Please send her jingles (positive energy, prayers whatever YOU think of them as).

Hope you make a full and speedy recovery Steph.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barnyard Anomalies

We've probably all heard of them, heck some of us have seen them.
The 'sideshow' animals that sometimes are born.
Things like 2 headed chickens or calves.
Dogs, cats, etc with extra legs.
Ducks or geese with extra wings.

Heck when Kimfer's dad bought their acreage it came with a barn cat that had a deformed eye and only one nostril. Popeye was a great mom to her kittens and the best darn mouser.

The more deformed the critter the less likely it will live a healthy, productive life. Its a sad, cruel twist of nature.

That's why I was SO shocked to see the strangest creature I've ever seen when I was back east visiting family.
At my Uncle D and Auntie S's farm (which used to be Grampie & Grammie's farm) they have a full grown horse with 1 head and 2 bodies!! :o

I was amazed, but look....

Oh, ummm.... errrr, sorry. That's just the two darker horses posed kinda funny.

Ooops, my bad!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blogs, bloggers and closeness

I have found a lot of friendship here in the blogworld. I'll admit that I was skeptical of developing friendships here... after all you only know what is presented to you and for all I know some of you might not be who you claim to be :o
(there were a few blogs I read that I suspected more and more of that and I stopped reading them)

I consider everyone on my blogroll to be special, and more than a few of them I consider friends, whether I would ever meet them in real life or not. In fact I'll be the first to admit that maybe some of us wouldn't be friends if we met in real life. lol

Blogging has provided me with these new friends, as well as support and different perspectives and ways of viewing things.

Its kinda funny how blogging makes us realize that no matter how big the world is its actually very small. I've noticed how a lot of times many of us are having the same struggle or issue (or good things) happening at the same time. Whether its being sick, dealing with work stress, trying to figure out what to do with a problematic but beloved animal.

I just wanted to take this time to thank all of you for being there. For writing the great posts you do, whether they are entertaining, thought provoking, 'please help' or educational. And for reading my little blog and best of all for the comments here and on other blogs (comments that also happen to entertain and educate!)

If you're not on my blogroll don't feel bad there is a very good chance that you are bookmarked, I read a lot of blogs and not all of them are on my blogroll. You see, I have this strange little habit of wanting to read a person's whole blog before I add them to my blogroll (the exception to this is FHOTD, I have NOT read that entire blog!!)

On that note, I was reading comments on my last post and saw that Shirley had left me a little something on her blog. What's funny is that her blog is one of the bookmarked "to catch up on" blogs and I hadn't had time to go there lately!!
So this is from Shirley, and fits right in with what I was rambling on and on about:

To translate the gift from Portuguese to English, it means: "This blog invests and believes the proximity" Meaning that blogging makes us close.
"They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate? Then let's try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text."

Now I don't know how many of you have stuck it out and read this long rambling post, but if you made it to the end you will see that I would like to pass this on to everyone on my blogroll.
(yes that's kind of a copout... but there is no specific number to pass it on to and you all really are special)

*award image not created by me*

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Upon us all...

... a little rain must fall.
And fall it did. Today. When we had a barrel racing jackpot.
Good grief what was I thinking? Oh yeah, that there hasn't been a jackpot in a month! lol

So Kimfer and I loaded up Isis and Applejack and were on our merry way.
(Incidentally Applejack races under part of his registered name, Raincloud, how fitting was that today!!)

We got to Holly & Al's were the jackpot was being held and were surprised at the turnout. We thought there would be more people with enough common sense to stay home and dry, but no there were quite a few people there.
Including Erin and Shaunna that we met at the team sorting competitions! I was so glad to see them come give barrel racing a try, neither of them has done it before. Of course, they thought we were crazy to be having a jackpot in this weather... as Erin said "At least last night at penning we were INSIDE!" lol

Our first run we came out of 1st a little crazy and I had a bit of trouble with my wet (leather) reins. Almost ran up the wrong side of 2nd but got straightened out in time. Was happy to get around it and head to 3rd. Not a great run but no "issues" which I was worried the brisk, wet weather would resurrect. (*ahem* bucking)
Second run was MUCH better. Nice turn on first, slipped a bit (ground held up until the last few runs) but came out of it well. Decent second, still need to work on finishing it so he doesn't blow out so wide. Went in a little too wide to 3rd (due to another small slip) but that ended up okay because the instant I lowered my hand and grabbed the horn Applejack wrapped that sucker and we were on our way home!

Kimfer and Julie both had good, solid runs on their fillies. Erin and Shaunna both had good runs (especially for the first time doing it!)

After humans and horses alike were thoroughly soaked (and I mean thoroughy!) We got the horses unsaddled, coolers on and loaded them in the trailer. We then headed over to the shelter of the garage to check on payout (I have to collect the timer and office money due to being the club secretary/treasurer) and I was very happy to learn that I won 2nd in the 3D!!

We said thanks to the jackpot hosts and headed back to the trailer to try to get dry and warm. Kimfer and I ducked into the living quarters area of the trailer to change into dry clothes.
(THANK YOU Kimfer for lending me your extra jeans and hoodie - mine were in my Chevy, at the acreage!!)
And then we hopped in the truck... I was SO grateful that we took Kimfer's dad's truck, with the leather seats and butt warmers! :)

Oh, I think Erin and Shaunna are hooked, they both bought memberships!

BECG - I am going to try to get Kimfer to take some pics but today was way too miserable for that!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Result time!

Monday at 11pm I went through my e-mail and made up the little slips of paper. When Pie came home I had him pic 2 slips from the hat.
Then I sent off e-mails to the people chosen... now that I've heard back from both of them I can make it official.

I am very pleased to announce that sidetracked of "Horses & Men" and BECG of "Browneyed Cowgirls" were picked to receive the plaques (and agreed to give out their mailing address) :)

There were almost 50 names put in the hat, and although I thank those of you who nominated me I didn't put my own name in. :)

I hope to find something suitable to mail the plaques and send them off by this weekend.

Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!